Water distribution network failure analysis under uncertainty

  • P. Aghapoor Khameneh
  • S. M. Miri LavasaniEmail author
  • R. Nabizadeh Nodehi
  • R. Arjmandi
Original Paper


Failure analysis of water distribution network gains prime importance as it plays a crucial role in meeting the increasing demand for water in megacities. Water interruption can occur due to instances of component failure such as in pipes and valves. Water distribution network is a complex system comprising a variety of components and their interrelations. To avoid sub-optimization, a comprehensive framework for failure analysis is needed, in order to include all parts of water distribution network. The primary aim of the study was to propose a framework for failure analysis in which fuzzy set theory was combined with fault tree analysis as a useful model to deal with uncertainties resulting from unavailability of data. The proposed framework was applied to a water distribution network in Tehran to demonstrate its validity. Water supply interruption was considered a top event in the fault tree. As a result, the occurrence probability of top event was 0.29. According to sensitivity results, isolation valve failure was the critical minimal cut set with the value of 0.16, which shows a 55% decrease in top event probability. Thus, it is concluded that in decision-making process, a focus should be maintained on the critical minimal cut set, while suggesting corrective actions.


Critical minimal cut set Fuzzy fault tree analysis Water interruption Water supply system 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the help of Tehran Province Water and Wastewater Company (TPWWC) for providing valuable information and data to perform the case study. We also are grateful to the editors and anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments and suggestions.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Islamic Azad University (IAU) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Aghapoor Khameneh
    • 1
  • S. M. Miri Lavasani
    • 2
    Email author
  • R. Nabizadeh Nodehi
    • 3
  • R. Arjmandi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Management, Faculty of Natural Resources and Environment, Science and Research BranchIslamic Azad UniversityTehranIran
  2. 2.Department of HSE Management, Faculty of Natural Resources and Environment, Science and Research BranchIslamic Azad UniversityTehranIran
  3. 3.Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of Public HealthTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran

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